It’s any car owner’s fear needing a costly repair just after the warranty has run out. Extended warranties promise peace of mind. But they’re expensive. And a Consumer Reports survey of 12,000 subscribers found extended warranties are an “expensive gamble.” The survey shows more than half the people who bought an extended warranty never used the coverage. And even among those who did, they spent far more for the coverage than they saved in repairs. The cost of an extended car warranty averaged $1,214. Among those who used it, the median savings was just $837 and that’s a net loss of more than $375. Consumer Reports survey subscribers about all kinds of things, all kinds of products and services. And extended warranties rated down at the bottom in satisfaction. Owners of Hondas, Subarus and Toyotas were especially disappointed with their extended warranties. Less than a quarter of them said they’d buy one if they had it to do again. Consumer Reports says the best bet is to buy a reliable car and keep it in top shape.

And a final caution, The Better Business Bureau has received thousands of complaints about extended warranty scams. So if someone tries to sell you one, and you are considering it, check with your dealer to make sure the offer is legit.

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